Within most community meetings that address social issues on campus, there’s a series of introductions that happen. Usually you’ll state your name, your organization affiliation/involvement, and within progressive spaces, you’ll disclose your pronouns. This question of pronouns stuck me when I first was confronted with it, my relations with my gender identity not fully formed, and I simply said “anything but ‘it'”. A laughter ensued within the room after my introduction towards my comment, but I still faced a new obstacle within carving out my identity: do I really need definite pronouns for myself?
Pronouns encompass a concept bigger than the bending of the English language, but a direct challenging of the gender binary. Many of my QTPOC friends feel empowered by their pronouns, feeling whole whenever someone directly acknowledges their distance from the binary. Personally, I’ve found a whole other reaction towards pronouns and my gender identity and have been noticing this growing disconnect.
In many ways, my gender identity most close relates to being agender. I’ve completely disconnected from gender within myself and what it means to have a gender identity. I don’t associate physical traits and appearances with male, female, or nonconforming anymore. The only thing I relate with within my non binary identity is the importance of feminine energy within myself and my life and how intertwined the struggles of trans folk are with women’s issues. Being trans itself challenges the male power structure, shaking the dominance men hold within the system and directly questioning masculinity. Being trans is more than hormones, more than pronouns, and much more than the way you express yourself, but the way someone like myself redefines their spiritual connection to the world around them.